A.L.I.C.E helps students know what to do in the event of a mass shooting

The Early evening news on KOTA Territory TV
Published: Mar. 28, 2023 at 8:04 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - According to the Associated Press, 175 people have died in mass shooting events connected to schools and colleges in America since the Columbine shooting in 1999.

With the latest deadly shooting this week in Nashville, Tennessee, some people are asking how Rapid City students stay safe.

A.L.I.C.E., referred to as Alice stands for alert, lockdown, inform, counter, and evacuate. It teaches people how to get and give information, as well as how to react in a stressful situation.

“A.L.I.C.E. is our model for responding to violent critical incidents that would be considered like a mass shooting within a school. The program teaches people, what A.L.I.C.E. would say, to participate in your own survival. It’s an options-based system,” said Garrett Loen, a senior officer with the Rapid City Police Department.

In addition to A.L.I.C.E. training, Rapid City area schools enlist the help of liaison officers. Loen believes having officers inside schools helps give students a sense of security.

“Having police officers in the school is important because one, visibility. These kids know I’m here every day, a lot of times you know, problem people, the people that are going to cause these incidents are from within the school. And then just knowing that there’s an officer here could be all it takes to prevent something like that,” Loen continued.

Loen says the combination of liaison officers and A.L.I.C.E. training has been beneficial. However, he says there is no one correct answer to these situations, and that people need to be able to make critical decisions based on other variables.